Masai Ujiri on Lorenzo Brown (via me)

I drummed up the nerve to approach Masai Ujiri on Saturday at the G-League showcase. I asked the Raptors president how close he thinks Lorenzo Brown is to nailing down a regular roster spot in the NBA. Here’s me relaying our conversation:


Kennedy Meeks Revisited

Promising Strength Inside.  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

After a lovely siesta in Barcelona, we’re back to dive into some more game tape. Coming into Saturday’s contest against the Mad Ants of Fort Wayne, Kennedy Meeks was putting up very respectable averages of 11.6 points on 45.9 FG%, to go with 8.5 boards – 3.6 on the offensive glass, which is where we begin our analysis.

The conventional wisdom states that defence and offensive rebounding are all, or at least mostly, about effort. While “trying” is certainly a part of it, there’s skill to creating extra possessions off missed shots, and Meeks has it.
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Who is Kennedy Meeks in the NBA?

Undrafted free agent Kennedy Meeks seems the prototype for NBA players being phased out of the game – lumbering, over-sized power forward, undersized centre (6’9, 277 pounds) without a reliable three point shot (he didn’t make a single three at North Carolina).

I imagine Masai Ujiri was intrigued by the post game and touch around the rim (shot 56% in his senior year at UNC), and his Herculean effort on the glass in the Final Four and National Championship Game, where he grabbed a combined 12 offensive rebounds. I’d like to figure out what the Raptors saw in a seemingly massive project.
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Lorenzo Brown – mostly enticing, somewhat concerning

Two more games to the sample reveal the pros and cons of a scoring machine

With confirmation bias in full effect, I watched Lorenzo Brown’s last two games with great interest. A summary of our previous findings:

-fluid ball handler who can score from anywhere on the floor
-makes his defender play at his pace, not having to speed up his game
-seems a capable passer, but takes undue risks leading to many turnovers
-drifts on defence to inefficient help spots, leading to his man getting open looks or easy blow-by’s on poor closeouts.

November 12 @ Westchester Knicks

This game would be a great test for Brown, as he was primarily matched up against Ron Baker, who played 52 games with the New York Knicks last season. As we gleaned from the home opener, Brown was not going to be intimidated.
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